Author(s): P. Heller; A. J. Schleiss; E. Bollaert
Keywords: Multipurpose run-of-river powerplant; Complex system analysis; Peak hydro-power mitigation; Energy production; Environmental integration
Abstract: In countries where hydropower potential is mostly exploited yet, new hydroelectric powerplants can find general approval only as multipurpose projects. In addition to technical purposes (energy production, flood control or irrigation), run-of-river projects should also satisfy environmental, landscape and social constraints. Reduction of peak hydropower, minimum discharge increase, creation of biotopes and recreational zones around the reservoir are examples of such constraints. Traditionally, these aspects are explored separately (United Nations, 1972). Integration of different purposes increases the degree of project complexity. A new methodology to deal with this complexity is thus necessary to develop synergies between the purposes. The here proposed method combines a qualitative analysis with a semi-quantitative one. The qualitative analysis is performed using a network thinking approach as proposed by Probst and Gomez method. Three kinds of variables are identified, namely the ones influencing the size, the management and the objectives of the project. Environmental impacts due to peak hydropower are highlighted. The quantitative analysis focuses on project management aspects. The management is solved with different heuristics and a non-linear technique. This technique allows improving both the downstream river ecological state and the possible reservoir uses (creation of biotopes, leisure activities and energy production).